Songs in the STEM Class {Kinetic and Potential Energy}

Last month I shared one of my favorite teaching strategies: using songs to review and reinforce concepts in science. Read more about it here. The short version? I find that students retain basic information better when it is put to a catchy (albeit sometimes annoyingly so) tune.
If you aren’t using music in the classroom yet, you should be! Songs are a great strategy for teaching science concepts and vocabulary. A catchy tune will help those concepts stick.
This month I want to share another song that I found while scouring YouTube for something to accompany my Energy Unit.



I present to you: "Kinetic and Potential Energy"
video
You can also find this video on YouTube here.

I know what you're thinking...
Polka music?
But, YES!
For some reason the tune is really catchy and believe it or not, students love singing along.
The lyrics are right on the screen and pretty repetitive, so it doesn't take long for students to catch on and begin singing. They love shouting "OLE" really loud too.
The song shares several different examples of potential and kinetic energy along with pictures and simple animations. My students always get super excited when they see the yellow VW Bug (since that's what I drive).

After listening to the song, I help students to develop working definitions of kinetic energy and potential energy to write in our interactive notebooks. I let students work with a partner to classify different examples of energy into the appropriate part of this Venn diagram template.

If you aren’t using music in the classroom yet, you should be! Songs are a great strategy for teaching science concepts and vocabulary. A catchy tune will help those concepts stick.
While students are working, I play the song again. Sure, some of them groan about it. But most of them end up happily singing along while they work.

Have you come across any great songs or videos to help teach the difference between potential and kinetic energy? I'd love to add to my "collection". Share a link in the comments!

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